Modern Day Revolution

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” is the opening line of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. Setting the stage of the book is the French Revolution, both before and during, in Paris and London.

Roughly 230 years ago, a European country had a revolution.

Today another revolution is touching all areas on the globe, and with few exceptions, no one is exempt from the blazing news cycle of events.

On a personal scale, moving to Oregon taught me the true meaning of the A Tale of Two Cities quote. Clarity (and a bit of anger) replaced pain and confusion, with beauty driving the day to day wheels. I did not chose the consequences of moving here, but here I believe I was sent for such a time as this. How that plays out in the weeks ahead is my guess, but I know Who holds my future.

As Gandalf said in The Lord of the Rings, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

And as the Bible would say,On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won’t take anything for granted.

Two Cents Worth on Masks

I have avoided the issue somewhat of mask wearing, primarily because it is to me between God and His child, or between one’s conscience, depending on his/her belief system. So that being said, I am going to write about a few of the non-physical effects of wearing one.

With school opening up and the choice of remote learning or masks at school, the effects of mask wearing on the children will color their worldview for the rest of their lives. This article quotes a doctor suggesting a parent have the child wear a mask at home for 10 minutes at a time, to acclimate the child to mask wearing at school. However, later in the article he says to watch for “potential long-term psychological effects.” Stated in the article included chronic stress, PTSD, and depression from being isolated.

Does wearing a mask affect one’s morality? According to this article, the answer is yes. Governments have historically mandated no mask wearing to maintain public order. Ceremonies and rituals use them to allow a person’s inhibitions to decrease to carry out activities. An experiment in 1976 showed that the subject wearing a ski mask could be bought for less money to do what they were asked to do. (Discretion advised if you open up this link.)

One friend told me he missed seeing everyone’s smiles. Another told me she could not tell if someone was angry or smiling.

The fallout of the physical effects of mask wearing is being seen, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual effects will take longer to see in our generation. The psychological literature is already out there, but to see it up close and personal is another matter.

In my Psychology 101 class in college, I learned about Harlow’s monkey experiment. The terry cloth “mother” was chosen more than the wire-mesh “mother.” Or paraphrased, the warm mother was chosen over the sustenance mother.

No one is exempt from this, we all are affected one way or another, mask-wearing or no. Our constitutional ability to congregate and be social with one another has been cut off to a large degree, and this invites depression and hopelessness and division. God created us as social beings. And the answer in the days ahead will be God and only God, for hope and healing.


Have a blessed weekend!

Once Upon A Time It Was Now Review

Once Upon A Time It Was Now, 2nd edition, written by James Alexander Thom, is a wonderful book on the art of writing historical fiction. His ultimate goal is to write books that inspire others, regardless of whether the endings are happy or sad.

He does not dwell much on the craft of writing itself, but his focus is how to write historically. In this regard he does bring up life experiences that need to be considered that most would not think of, especially since in the past they thought and did differently than we do today. No glossing over either, he brings up the grittiness of life that most of us would prefer not to think about.

A chapter on technology discusses the use of paper vs. computers from a few of his fellow historians and historical writers. And a few ideas for research organization, which if done right will produce reams.

His book was written in response to Stephen Ambrose’s quip, “A novelist doesn’t have to have facts.” Most of this book goes into detail on how and why historical novels should be as factually accurate as possible. One of the best reasons I read was that they are read when history books would not be. I count myself one of these people, loving to read novels about historical figures.

His wife, Dark Rain, wrote most of the chapter on genealogy, and if you are writing a book dealing with Indian history, she has some very valuable tips.

My favorite quote: “The climax of a novel often is a moment that seems impossible to endure. If you can force yourself to exhume and record some personal horror you wanted to leave buried, then you will have trained yourself to write powerfully about anything the protagonist of your novel has to do.”

I will probably never write a historical novel, but I learned much from his book. His advice can be used for other genres as well. The humor had me laughing quite a bit. And he was in the USMC, another thumbs up from me. A hearty recommended read.

USMC Hymn’s Birthday

Now for the lyrics if you want to sing along:

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in ev’ry clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.

Here’s health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we’ve fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

Ministers and Tyrants

“In America, as we have indicated, resistance to oppression had been a favorite topic in Yankee pulpits for more than a century. Indeed a quarter of a century before Paul Revere’s ride, one of its most articulate (albeit increasingly liberal) proponents, Jonathan Mayhew of Boston, preached:

It is blasphemy to call tyrants and oppressors God’s ministers…When [magistrates] rob and ruin the public, instead of being guardians of its peace and welfare, they immediately cease to be the ordinance and ministers of God, and no more deserve that glorious character than common pirates and highwaymen.”

The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel

I had the fortune to meet Peter Marshall at a book signing. He is the son of Catherine Marshall, who wrote some of the best books on Christianity that I have ever read. His father was chaplain of the Senate in 1946.